VW, There and Here


VW starts pre-production runs – new plant in China

❝ VW announced that it already started pre-production at its all-electric vehicle factory in China, just a year after ground breaking at the new plant.

Over the last two years, every major automaker has announced plans to build electric vehicles in China due to the country’s new aggressive zero-emission mandate.

❝ VW is among those automakers who quickly announced plans to build a new factory just for electric vehicles.

They started building it last year through their joint venture with SAIC and today, they announced that they started pre-production at their new factory in Anting, Shanghai.


VW breaks ground for $800 million EV plant in Tennessee

❝ Volkswagen breaks ground Wednesday on its Tennessee plant that will produce two battery-powered cars, according to Reuters. Plans for the $800 million investment in the Chattanooga plant were first announced in January. The ground-breaking shows that Volkswagen is intent on achieving its goal of producing 50 million electric cars in the next several years.

❝ Scott Keogh, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, characterized the event as part of a “magic moment” for electric vehicles in the United States. He equated it to the introduction of the Beetle, which went on to sell 21 million units.

❝ The average transaction price of a car in America right now is $33,000, somewhere around there. That’s where I’d put the dart in the market [for an electric vehicle]. That’s a decent space to approach the center of the market. It will be a car for the heart of the market.

Don’t kid yourself. The same kind of people whining about investments, government support for electric vehicles, here in the United States have their peers with the same kind of chickenshit DNA in China. Priorities are formed by leaders: political, economic and social leaders willing to move ahead. Apparently, it is still possible to find folks willing to setup shop in completely different countries because they recognize opportunity.

Meanwhile, in local news…

❝ (Socorro, New Mexico) — Socorro is charged up about building its own electric utility to offer cheaper, cleaner electricity to local consumers than they get from the 75-year-old Socorro Electric Cooperative.

Mayor Ravi Bhasker and city councilors are pursuing an independent contract with Guzman Energy LLC, an upstart power provider that’s challenging the long reign of Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which currently supplies all wholesale electricity to Socorro and 10 other rural New Mexico cooperatives.

❝ The city says Tri-State, which relies heavily on coal plants, charges far higher wholesale rates than other providers like Guzman can offer through solar and wind facilities that have plummeted in price in recent years.

The Socorro co-op, they add, has done nothing to mitigate those high costs, such as building local renewable systems independently of Tri-State to save money for co-op members. And that, in turn, has forced local consumers to use expensive electricity…

Expensive electricity mostly generated by burning coal, BTW.

❝ Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos, for example, pulled out of Tri-State in 2016 to sign with Guzman, and at least two cooperatives in Colorado are now following in Kit Carson’s footsteps.

“We’re not the only ones trying to get out from under Tri-State,” Bhasker said. “Kit Carson did it by partnering with Guzman. We can do it too in Socorro.”

Warms the cockles of my heart to witness the most basic of essential services being turned over to clean, modern technologies after decades of being tied economically and (yes) politically to King Coal.

Ignoring Women Costs $700 Billion a Year

The male-dominated finance industry is missing out on more than $700 billion a year in revenue by failing to listen to or tailor products for women, according to management consultancy Oliver Wyman.

“Women are arguably the single largest under-served group of customers in financial services,” Jessica Clempner, the report’s lead author, said…“Firms are leaving money on the table by not listening to and understanding their women customers.”

❝ The problems are compounded by lack of women in senior management in the finance industry. Just 20% of finance executives globally are women, up from 16% in 2016, the report said. The industry continues to grapple with many of the same challenges as it has in the past, including the mid-career gap that holds many women back, it said.

NSS. Every few years some “open-minded” analysts roll out a report like this one. Gets a couple hours coverage on a Bloomberg afternoon show. Vanishes. Financial industry in America is about as self-aware as a clam.

Sleepwalking to economic disaster — again

❝ The world is sleepwalking towards a fresh economic and financial crisis that will have devastating consequences for the democratic market system, according to the former Bank of England governor Mervyn King.

Lord King, who was in charge at Threadneedle Street during the near-death of the global banking system and deep economic slump a decade ago, said the resistance to new thinking meant a repeat of the chaos of the 2008-09 period was looming…

❝ “No one can doubt that we are once more living through a period of political turmoil. But there has been no comparable questioning of the basic ideas underpinning economic policy. That needs to change.”

Say it, again, louder – Mervyn. Some folks listening at the IMF. Not in DC.

Think cosmetic surgery (mostly) for men ain’t profitable?

Watching proper football, this morning, I witnessed a sharp example of profit margins in action. The animated electric hoardings alongside any English Premier League match have got to be an expensive advertIsing buy. Limited, typically, to beer companies, sports betting, sport shoe manufacturers, etc…seeking a global market…and, today, this popped up during the match between Brighton-and-Hove Albion vs Everton.

Yup. Pick up and fly to Turkey for an appointment with Dr. Cinik…and get your hair island bridged to your do.

I have no idea what he charges; but, it obviously allows for the cost of advertising in one of the largest sports markets in the world.

Is water a commodity?

❝ Is water a commodity?

❝ It’s a question that more and more investors are asking these days. The media has been full of stories about rising water scarcity: water lawsuits in the American Southwest; growing demand for water for ethanol plants; drought conditions in key grain-producing countries like Australia. Water’s role in the global economy is becoming both more real, and more visible.

It’s not entirely a new idea. An article in Fortune Magazine back in May of 2000 stated, “Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations.”

❝ Really? Is water a commodity?

RTFA for more questions, more answers.

Bring a friend over the border! Both of you can sell your blood.

❝ Every week, thousands of Mexicans cross the border into the U.S. on temporary visas to sell their blood plasma to profit-making pharmaceutical companies that lure them with Facebook ads and colorful flyers promising hefty cash rewards.

❝ The donors, including some who say the payments are their only income, may take home up to $400 a month if they donate twice a week and earn various incentives, including “buddy bonuses” for recruiting friends or family. Unlike other nations that limit or forbid paid plasma donations at a high frequency out of concern for donor health and quality control, the U.S. allows companies to pay donors and has comparatively loose standards for monitoring their health.

❝ The U.S. is the largest supplier of blood plasma in a $21 billion global market…The border clinics are the most productive, according to internal…documents obtained by ARD [German TV]. While most U.S. centers receive around 1,000 paid donations a week, centers at the border count more than 2,300. The documents show that border centers also rank highest in donor frequency; they top of list of centers with customers who donate 75 times or more per year.

But, then, you would expect a leech like Trump to be aiding bloodsuckers profiting from poor migrants.

Babylon rule dem, too…


Click to get my point

[If you want to read the lyrics, they’re over here + youtube is having troubles, as well]

You can take my meaning many ways. The subtle bits and pieces are useful; but, the essential point doesn’t change. While “analysts” prattle about progressive democrats vs centrist democrats, in very many ways there is little difference between the whole lot and conservative, racist, profit-driven power brokers who own damned near all our politicians, elected officials, government.

Nothing is more important to them than maintaining the imperial power of the United States. That translates to several important characteristics. Globally, all nations should keep their economy and education subservient to the GOUSA. Domestically, that means free access to healthcare, education, jobs, equal rights, equal opportunity still takes second place to profits.

Yes, the political system still derives from economics. That doesn’t mean don’t vote. If you want an opportunity to change the system at all, you must avail yourself of what social democracies we have available. Doing otherwise, just leaves even more control in the hands of fascist-minded creeps like trump and the villains who pull his strings.